By Katabella Roberts
An eyewitness who did not realize he was speaking on live television has described the Waukesha, Wisconsin, attack suspect as a black man with dreadlocks.
The City of Waukesha confirmed late Sunday that five people were killed and over 40 were injured after a driver plowed into people participating in a Christmas parade, although they anticipate that those numbers may change as they collect additional information.
According to witnesses and video footage of the incident, the driver plowed through people in the parade in a red SUV.
Footage of the attack, which was live-streamed and posted on the City of Waukesha’s Facebook page, shows the SUV speeding into the parade behind a school marching band. Other videos were uploaded elsewhere, including one that allegedly shows the SUV breaking a police barricade.
The majority of those injured are being treated in hospitals in the area. Police have detained the attacker in custody, officials said.
In a statement, the City of Waukesha said the investigation is still ongoing and streets surrounding the area have been closed until midday Monday, while businesses have also been temporarily shut down. Police urged locals to avoid the area while officers investigate.
“The scene is still fluid, and the investigation is ongoing. The community mourns the loss of our community members and those injured. We are asking for the community to come together during this time and to keep the families in your prayers,” the city said.
Waukesha public schools will also be closed on Monday, officials said, adding that they are working to notify the next of kin of victims, and counseling services are also available at Waukesha South.
On Sunday evening, an unconfirmed eyewitness shared that the attacker was a “black man with dreadlocks,” who was “by himself.” The alleged witness was seemingly unaware that he was on live television when he gave the description.
Karol Markowicz, a contributor to the New York Post, Fox News, and DC Examiner, reported that the suspect currently in police custody is Darrell E Brooks Jr., a black male in his late 30s. Citing court documents, Markowicz said Brooks Jr. has a lengthy criminal record and was released from Milwaukee County Jail on Nov. 19, 2021.
Police can be heard on the Waukesha police scanner saying that they had found an ID card belonging to a man named Darrell Brooks in the SUV, and the license was suspended. Officers described him as a “lighter skin, black male, dreadlocks, possibly no shoes.”
The Epoch Times has been unable to verify the suspect’s identity.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson confirmed that a person of interest has been taken into custody and a vehicle had been recovered after the incident, about 32 kilometers (20 miles) west of Milwaukee.
“The vehicle struck more than 20 individuals, some of those individuals were children and there were some fatalities as a result of this incident. We will not be releasing information on the fatalities at this time while we are working on notifying the families of the deceased. We are no longer looking for a suspect vehicle, we do have a person of interest in custody at the moment but this is still a very fluid investigation,” Thompson said.
Thompson said no shots were fired from the SUV but at least one law enforcement officer had fired at the vehicle as it sped by.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.